I offer expertise in both residential and commercial property related litigation, having acted for individuals, banks and other lenders, local authorities and charities in claims relating to disputed property ownership , adverse possession, rights of way and easements. Having initially practised in family law I developed a significant practice in claims relating to co-ownership, in particular involving husbands and wives and third party lenders. I have acted in defence of many possession claims and also have experience in landlord and tenant law.
I try to ensure that my advice is easy to understand and capable of being followed by the non-lawyer. I seek to ensure that legal costs are minimised, although, I am able to refer clients to solicitors, free legal advice centres and experts where it is necessary. I am happy to meet clients wherever is convenient and I have offices in London, Bristol and Birmingham.
I have a busy professional life and understand that advice, when it is needed, tends to be urgent, therefore I can arrange to hold meetings during the weekend or outside of conventional office hours.
I prefer to have an initial telephone discussion with my clients to satisfy myself that I am able to help, and this first short meeting can be arranged by telephone; I will not charge for this.
My practice base is quite broad but if I can not help with your legal issue, I will probably be able to refer you to a colleague who may be better placed to assist.
My approach to fees is to try to accommodate any budgetary constraints but again, if I can not I may be able to refer you to a more junior colleague.
I am happy to arrange fixed fee agreements and to provide ongoing help on a retained basis. My fees are, I hope, fair!
(1) I acted in a claim concerning my client’s, disputed, interest in an ex local authority property bought by her husband under the right to buy scheme. My client remained the wife of the deceased although the husband had lived with another woman for 20 years. The argument was about the absence of my client’s name on the title to the property and whether she has any legal interest in it. We managed to compile a significant witness list to demonstrate that there was an argument about whether the woman who the husband had lived with had done so, as husband and wife. My client succeeded in arguing for an interest in the property, which she wanted to pass on to her grandchildren. My client needed a good deal of support and also to understand simply why she had a claim at all. The case was heard in the Court of Appeal.
(2) My client was from the Ukraine but had moved to the UK to marry and was given a sum of money by her husband, with which a property was bought. The dispute was about whether the money was given as a gift and what was the extent of my client’s interest in the property. There were a significant number of hearings about the documents which may client had provided, which lead to her initially being sent to prison for breach of an Order. My client appealed to the Court of Appeal and eventually, settled the case with her husband. This client needed a good deal of support in understanding the UK court process and in continuing with her claim as she did not have any family in the UK.
(3) My client was from India and signed a guarantee, to cover the repayment of a loan to her husband’s business. She neither spoke nor wrote English fluently. The bank, in High Court proceedings, sought to recover money under the guarantee and claimed to be entitled to sell the property. We disputed the bank’s entitlement to claim anything against my client’s share of the property. I needed to invoke the assistance of my client’s family and had to win their trust, whilst the husband was separately represented. My client was successful, on appeal in arguing against judgment being given to the bank without a trial. The bank eventually settled the claim with my client and she kept her home.
I have been a barrister for more than 25 years and have always undertaken a significant volume of charitable work, which I now continue through the Bar Pro Bono Unit. I have provided lectures and training to a diverse audience, including solicitors, local authorities and trade unions.
Before coming to the Bar, I worked in property and ran a restaurant in Mayfair. I also studied drama and have been involved with various fringe productions. I am now a WRU level 1 rugby coach and Sunday is often taken up with festivals of mini rugby.
I have conducted public access work since it was first possible to do so and have appeared and advised in disputes in a wide range of courts and tribunals (including on appeal).
What my clients say
I come to my cases, thoroughly prepared and with a determination to achieve the best outcome. My written advice is specific and clear and highlights the strengths and weaknesses in a case. In court, I am described as determined, forensic and respected.
My clients say that I engage with them in language which they are capable of understanding.
“Nigel has been Counsel of first choice for me for the past 10 years. His deep subject knowledge, attention to detail, pragmatic advice, willingness to fight when required and superb cross examining skills has made him a firm favourite with many clients.” - Alasdair Hobbs
Professional & academic
I studied economics, initially, worked for a few years in property and then went on to study law.
I was called to the Bar in 1992 and trained in banking, contract, commercial, company and employment law.